The opinion of the court was delivered by: DUFF
1. The trial of this case lasted for 48 trial days commencing on February 28, 1996 and concluding on August 1, 1996.
There was a lengthy hiatus in the trial between April 4, 1996 and June 25, 1996 necessitated by a serious injury suffered by the lead trial counsel for the Barnett plaintiffs. The transcript of this trial spanned 8731 pages. The record of this trial also included several hundred exhibits and approximately one thousand pages of deposition designations and counter-designations offered by the parties.
2. The monumental length of this bench trial was necessitated by the complex and tightly fought nature of this case. This case raised numerous difficult and knotty legal and factual issues, the complexity of which was compounded by the issuance of several Supreme Court decisions during the course of trial, which defendants argued altered significantly the scope of § 2 of the Voting Rights Act (the "VRA"). The complexity of this trial was further compounded by this Court's obligation to consider the "totality of the circumstances" in connection with plaintiffs' claim that they have been afforded "less opportunity than other members of the electorate to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice." See 42 U.S.C. § 1973. This Court endeavored, to the extent that time permitted, to give the parties extensive leeway in their examinations of witnesses and the admission of evidence in an effort to permit a thorough analysis of the totality of the circumstances.
3. Together the plaintiffs presented 20 witnesses. Plaintiffs' witnesses included six expert witnesses: 1) Prof. Paul Kleppner who testified on behalf of the Bonilla plaintiffs concerning the historical background of the redistricting process; 2) Dr. James Lewis who testified on behalf of the Barnett plaintiffs concerning racial cleavages in City Council voting and the access of minority candidates to campaign funds; 3) Dr. D. Garth Taylor who testified on behalf of the Barnett plaintiffs concerning the diverse communities of interest in the white and African-American communities; 4) Dr. Leobardo Estrada who testified on behalf of the Bonilla plaintiffs concerning the illustrative alternative ward maps prepared in connection with the Bonilla case, the socio-economic characteristics of Chicago's Latino population, the "fragmentation" of the Latino community by Chicago's ward map, and the Latino citizenship rates in Chicago; 5) Professor Alan Lichtman who testified on behalf of the Bonilla plaintiffs concerning racial bloc voting and the cohesiveness of Latino voters, Professor Lichtman also investigated Latino voter turnout and voter registration patterns; 6) Professor Richard Engstrom who testified on behalf of the Barnett plaintiffs concerning racial bloc voting, voter cohesiveness and polarization as they affect African-American voters, the fracturing and packing of African-American communities in the present ward map, and the Barnett illustrative alternative ward maps. In addition to this extensive expert testimony, plaintiffs also presented testimony from many, with some key exceptions, of the persons who played pivotal roles in the remap process.
The plaintiffs also submitted by designation the deposition testimony of ten witnesses including Aldermen Virginia Rugai, John Buchanan, Burton Natarus, Lorraine Dixon, Michael Wojick, former aldermen Medrano, Fary, Mazzola and Bialczak and Joseph Pindell, an employee of EDS who was responsible for maintaining the computers used by the City in connection with the ward remap process.
4. The defendants presented the testimony of sixteen witnesses. The defendants called two expert witnesses: 1) Professor Norfleet Rives who testified concerning demographic patterns in the City of Chicago, "race-neutral" benchmark maps, fracturing under the current ward map and plaintiffs' illustrative alternative maps, and an estimate of citizenship rates and their effect on minority voting strength; and 2) Professor Ronald E. Weber who testified concerning minority participation in the political process, minority voting cohesion, and whether bloc voting by majority voters usually results in the inability of minority voters to elect their candidates of choice. The defendants called Aldermen Burke, Murphy, Rugai, Mary Ann Smith, and Banks; former Finance Committee staff-members Judge Ruble-Murphy and Kathy Tuite; David Ortiz, a former aldermanic candidate in the 10th Ward; George Atkins, the campaign manager for Alderwoman Helen Schiller of the 46th Ward; Robert Bartell, the President of the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization; Joseph Pindell, a computer technician then employed by EDS; Dr. Solomon Chu, the President of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce; Michael Norkewicz, the chief demographer of the Latino Institute a not-for-profit organization which was involved in developing proposed ward maps for Latino majority wards during the redistricting process. The defendants also called Whitman Soule, a computer technician who assisted the African-American aldermen during the remap process and who assisted in preparing the Barnett illustrative alternative ward maps, and whose testimony was of little or no relevance, as an adverse witness.
5. The defendants also submitted deposition designations for 23 Barnett plaintiffs or former plaintiffs including the present and former aldermanic plaintiffs and the lay plaintiffs. The defendants also submitted deposition designations for the 4 lay Bonilla plaintiffs and for Juan Andrade, the President of the Midwest/Northeast Voter Registration and Education Project.
B. The Parties
and their Claims
6. This litigation was initially brought by three separate classes of plaintiffs: the Barnett class consisting of several African-American residents and voters in the City of Chicago (92 C 1683); the Smith class consisting of 16 African-American alderman for the City of Chicago (92 C 2104); and the Bonilla class consisting of several Latino residents and voters in the City of Chicago (92 C 2666)(the "Bonilla " plaintiffs). The Barnett and Smith classes have been consolidated and will be referred to collectively as the Barnett class. The Barnett and Bonilla classes have been consolidated for the purposes of discovery, trial, and the possible consideration of a remedial ward map.
7. Both the Barnett and Bonilla plaintiffs are challenging the boundaries of Chicago's aldermanic districts which were approved by a majority of the voters in the City of Chicago by referendum on March 17, 1992. Both sets of plaintiffs have challenged Chicago's present ward boundaries under § 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1973 et seq., (the "VRA") and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. In capsule summary, both classes of plaintiffs allege that the present ward boundaries were purposefully drawn to, and/or result in, the dilution of African-American and Latino voting strength.
8. Both the Barnett and Bonilla classes have been certified to include those African-Americans and Latinos "who have been, will be, and/or continue to experience a dilution of their right to vote due to the discriminatory actions, policies, and practices of the defendants as alleged in the plaintiffs' third amended complaint."
10. Having considered the testimony and exhibits presented during the course of the trial, the pleadings, the designated discovery materials, and the parties' written submissions following trial, this Court concludes that plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate either a violation of the VRA, or of their constitutional rights.
A. The 1990 Census and the Chicago City Council
11. The Chicago City Council is composed of 50 alderman each of whom is elected from one of 50 single-member districts. Chicago's aldermen are elected in non-partisan elections every four years. If no aldermanic candidate receives a majority of the votes in the initial round of voting, then a runoff election is held between the top two vote-getters. 65 ILCS 20/21-36.
12. The most recent aldermanic elections, using the present ward map, were held in February, 1995, with runoff elections held in April, 1995. As a result of these elections, there are presently 24 white, 19 African-American, and 7 Latino aldermen in the City of Chicago.
13. Pursuant to Illinois law, ward boundaries for Chicago's City Council must be redrawn every ten years, on the basis of the national census within the year after the decennial census. The Illinois Statute requires that the ward remap performed subsequent to the 1990 census be completed on or before December 1st of the year following the decennial census. 65 ILCS 20/21-38.
14. The statute of the State of Illinois also requires that each ward must be contiguous and compact and the population in each ward must be "as nearly equal as practicable." 65 ILCS 20/21-36. Given the total population of Chicago, as tabulated by the 1990 Census, the target ward population, if each ward is equally populated, is 55,675 persons.
15. Census data for the City of Chicago was released on February 11, 1991. The data released on that date constitutes the official tabulation of the population of the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago pursuant to Public Law 94-171. The P.L. 94-171 data constituted the files used in the redistricting process and are produced by the Census Bureau pursuant to its statutory obligations. The P.L. 94-171 files contain data at the block level recorded by race and Latino origin for total and voting-age population. The initial release by the Census Bureau does not contain citizenship data. The Census Bureau's estimates of citizen population were not released until early 1992, after the ward remapping process was complete.
16. According to the 1990 census, Chicago's population changed significantly between 1980 and 1990. The total population of Chicago fell by 221,286 from 3,005,072 in 1980 to 2,783,726 in 1990. (SX 1,3). The makeup of Chicago's population underwent significant changes as well. The breakdown of Chicago's white, African-American and Latino populations
Whites African-Americans Latinos
Total Population 1,056,048 1,074,471 545,852
(TP) in 1990
Increase or (243,509) (122,529) 123,789
(Decrease) in TP
% of TP in 1990 37.9 38.6 19.6
Change in % of TP -5.3 -.8 5.6
Voting Age 897,405 736,560 345,307
VAP in 1980 901,574 764,260 252,077
% of VAP in 1990 43.5 35.7 16.8
% of VAP in 1980 49.8 35.5 11.7
17. The 1990 census figures also revealed additional information concerning the population patterns in the City of Chicago which information was highly important to the redistricting process. The 1990 census showed that Chicago's then-existing wards were not evenly populated -- wards ranged from as much as 13,100 above the target ward population to 13,400 below the target ward population of 55,675. (SX 2). All the wards in which African-Americans were a majority were underpopulated -- wards 2,3,4, and 20, all of which are on the South Side of Chicago, were each more than 10,000 people below the ideal ward population and wards 5,7,8,16, and 17 all of which are also on the city's South Side were at least 3,500 people short of the target population. The five African-American majority wards on the west side of the city had collectively lost over 73,000 people. Meanwhile, most of the wards with white or Latino majorities or pluralities were populated in excess of the target ward population -- wards 12, 13, 14, 22, 23, 25, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38,39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, and 50 were all overpopulated. Since Chicago's wards were not evenly populated, the City was required to redraw the ward boundaries.
18. The census data also revealed that the City of Chicago remains highly segregated. 90% of the City's African-American population lived in census blocks that were at least 50% African-American, chiefly on the City's south and west sides, while 83% of the City's white population lived in census blocks that were at least 50% white, chiefly on the City's north and northwest sides. While the City remained highly segregated, the census data revealed that there was some migration of African-Americans from traditional African-American neighborhoods to white majority and plurality areas. (compare SX 1, SX 3) The white majority areas of the City, correspondingly, were less densely white populated than in the past. The Latino community was not quite as densely concentrated, nonetheless approximately 61% of the Latino community lived in majority Latino census blocks, chiefly on the near-northwest, near-southwest and southeast sides of the city.
19. Subsequent to the release of the P.L. 94-171 data, and subsequent to the drawing of the ward maps which were submitted to referendum, the Census Bureau released its estimates of the citizen voting age population ("CVAP") of the City of Chicago. The CVAP estimate is not arrived at by means of a canvas of every household in the City, rather it is derived from sample census forms which are mailed to one in every eight households. Based upon the sample data, CVAP estimates are derived at the census block group, rather than the smaller census block level. Based upon the census bureau's estimates, Chicago's CVAP is approximately 45% white, 40% African-American, and 11% Latino. (DX 509).
20. Plaintiffs ask this Court to adjust the census figures for the alleged undercount of minority members, chiefly African-Americans. This Court, however, has already ruled and this Circuit has already rejected claims seeking to force an adjustment of the census data to reflect the minority undercount. Tucker v. United States Dept. of Commerce, 958 F.2d 1411 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 953, 113 S. Ct. 407, 121 L. Ed. 2d 332 (1992). Even accepting the likelihood that there was an undercount of minorities, the official census count nonetheless constituted the statutory basis for drawing the Chicago ward map. Furthermore, this Court has been presented with no basis for a statistical adjustment for the undercount which would necessarily improve the accuracy of the census count. This Court, therefore, will not adjust the official census count. This Court recognizes, however, that within the constraints of Illinois' statutory requirements that ward populations be "as nearly equal as practicable" the drawers of the ward map can adjust for a perceived undercount by "underpopulating" areas where an undercount occurred and "overpopulating" other areas
or by a skillful drawing of boundary lines so as to include majority populations in majority-minority wards.
B. The Ketchum Litigation
21. Defendants ask this Court to make detailed findings and conclusions relating to the litigation and eventual settlement arrived at as a result of the 1981 ward redistricting. See Ketchum v. Byrne, 740 F.2d 1398 (7th Cir. 1984); on remand, Ketchum v. City Council, 630 F. Supp. 551 (N.D. Ill. 1985). This Court rejects defendants' invitation to find that the current ward map is presumptively legal because of what happened during the course of the Ketchum litigation. First and foremost, Ketchum was decided on the basis of the 1980 census and the manner in which the population of the City was distributed at that time -- the population of Chicago is simply not distributed in the same manner as it was in 1980 and this Court must make its findings based upon the factual situation in Chicago as it existed in 1990, following the legal standards as set forth in the relevant authority including Ketchum.
22. Furthermore, several of the findings made in Ketchum which might well bear revisiting based upon the facts presented before this Court. First, while the District Court approved the map of the 18th ward as agreed upon in the Ketchum settlement, the boundaries of the 18th ward must be reviewed by this Court in the light of the population shifts in that area and the record of election results and minority access to the political process presented at trial. The 18th ward did not have to be reconfigured in order to correct retrogression. Ketchum, 630 F. Supp. at 562. Second, the Ketchum era 18th ward was drawn as a "horse race" ward and this Court must review the record to determine whether the race has proved to be unequal. Id. Third, whether minority voters are packed or fractured is an extremely fact specific analysis dependent upon the present population patterns and minority access to the political process, not upon the factual record of the prior litigation. Fourth, Ketchum posited a 65% rule of thumb as the population percentage necessary to constitute an effective minority ward, an estimate which was necessitated by the unreliability of the data then available. Ketchum, 740 F.2d at 1416. Additionally, the map approved in the final District Court order in Ketchum was a compromise map -- it was not necessarily a complete vindication of plaintiffs' rights. It is, of course, beyond dispute that the final Ketchum map is relevant insofar as it was the map that was in place, and thus acted as a template, when the redistricting process began in 1991.
23. Under the Ketchum ward boundaries, based upon the 1990 census total-population figures, there were 16 wards with white majorities, 20 with African-American majorities, 6 wards with Latino majorities, and 8 wards with no racial or ethnic group constituting a majority. Using voting-age population as a measure, there were 20 white majority wards, 20 African-American majority wards, 4 Latino majority wards, and 6 wards with no racial or ethnic group constituting a majority. (SX 3). In the elections taking place in February and April 1991, which utilized the Ketchum ward map, 28 white, 18 African-American, and 4 Latino alderman were elected to the City Council. The alderman elected in the 1991 elections bore the statutory duty to redistrict Chicago's ward boundaries.
C. The 1991 Redistricting Process
24. This Court heard extensive testimony concerning the process of redrawing Chicago's ward map in 1991, including testimony concerning the negotiations, political alliances, and cleavages, which affected the remap process. This testimony, which frequently touched upon purely political questions concerning the leadership style and personality of various leaders of the Chicago City Council, invited this Court to inspect processes which courts are properly loathe to consider. It would be improper for this Court, or any other, to attempt to take politics out of legislative redistricting, even if it is the most common politics of rewarding one's allies and punishing one's adversaries. The redistricting process is intrinsically political and it is impossible to separate the considerations motivating the parties involved in the process from partisan political concerns. While keeping in mind the political nature of the redistricting process, this Court must not lose sight of the purpose of VRA § 2 to ensure that minority members have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.
25. Despite its reluctance to venture into the political thicket, this Court has considered the history of the 1991 remap process insofar as it is relevant to plaintiffs' intent claims. Additionally, while the process by which the present ward map was drawn is largely irrelevant to the Gingles analysis of plaintiffs' VRA § 2 claims, the process is relevant to this Court's consideration of the totality of the circumstances. The testimony concerning the redistricting process shed much light on the practical concerns motivating the City Council leadership, and the Latino and African-American communities. These practical considerations, such as the low citizenship and registration rates in some segments of the Latino community, guided some of the City's redistricting decisions. In order to have an accurate view of the full extent to which the present ward map might limit minority participation in the political process it is necessary to take into account the prudential, political compromises which were a part of the map-drawing process.
2. Initial Preparations for the Redistricting
26. The 1990 census figures were released in February of 1991. At about the same time, Alderman Edward Burke, representing the 14th Ward on the City's southwest side, and chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee, instructed his staff to begin preparing for the redistricting of Chicago's ward map.
27. Alderman Burke has long been one of the acknowledged leaders of the Chicago City Council and much of this power derives from the traditional importance of his position as Chairman of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee has the largest budget and professional staff of any committee of the City Council and has jurisdiction over the City's budget. As such, by virtue of his position as chairman of the Finance Committee, Alderman Burke is among the leaders, if not the single most influential figure, in the City Council.
29. That the Finance Committee assumed the rule of leading the initial stages of preparation for the remap of the ward map is not indicative of any discriminatory intent. At the time of the redistricting, the Rules Committee had only several people on its full-time staff while the Finance Committee had the largest staff of any City Council committee. The Finance Committee staff also had extensive experience conducting legal research and administering and coordinating sizable citywide projects. The Finance Committee also had the largest budget of any City Council committee, permitting the committee to retain outside consultants and obtain computer equipment using council funds. More than any other agency, the staff members of the Finance Committee were experienced in coordinating and obtaining consultants' and other services. It was not unusual for Finance Committee staffers to assist other committees on projects outside the formal jurisdiction of the Committee. Given these circumstances, it is not surprising that Finance Committee staff members assumed the leading staff responsibilities for the 1991 redistricting. The use of Finance Committee staff members in connection with the redistricting was simply a practical expedient insofar as the staff members of the Finance Committee had the expertise, manpower and budget necessary to coordinate a project as time-consuming and complex as redistricting the Chicago ward map.
30. Among the Finance Committee staff people assigned to the redistricting was Lisa Ruble Murphy, now a Cook County Circuit Court Judge, who was a long-time employee of the Committee. Judge Ruble-Murphy was given the lead role in connection with the work related to redistricting. Judge Ruble-Murphy quickly assumed the role of the principal map-drawer. In fact, the final ward map was largely Judge Ruble-Murphy's handiwork. She was the only city employee trained to operate the computers used to assist in the map drawing process as well as the only city employee with complete access to the redistricting computer. She was given the task of canvassing and coordinating the desires of the 50 alderman and the relevant community interest groups. Having observed Judge Ruble Murphy on the witness stand for over four days of testimony, this Court found her to be an honest and credible witness who performed the difficult task of coordinating the various competing aldermanic and community interests to the best of her ability while sincerely attempting to draw a ward map that would comply with law and would account for community concerns as fully as possible. Not surprisingly, many parties, including plaintiffs and some of the defendants, were dissatisfied with the map that was finally produced. Also not surprisingly, several alderman testified that they were dissatisfied with their access to the redistricting computer or with Judge Ruble-Murphy's attentiveness to their desires. (Tr. 5153-Preckwinkle; Tr. 5205-Steele; Tillman 9/20/95 Dep. Des. 80). These complaints concerning access to the computers in City Hall were indicative of neither intentional discrimination nor a § 2 violation but were a function of the heavy demands for computer time.
32. One of the first tasks performed by Judge Ruble-Murphy and her staff was to locate and recommend a redistricting consultant to assist the City Council. (Tr. 198,391- Ruble- Murphy). It was anticipated that the consulting firm would provide computers, software to assist with the redistricting, and consulting services. Eventually, two leading consulting firms, were identified, Logistic Systems, Inc. ("LogisSys") and Election Data Services ("EDS"). LogisSys and EDS both submitted bids to provide redistricting support to the City Council.
33. After comparing the competing bids, Judge Ruble Murphy recommended EDS. (Tr. 407, PJX 6). The reason for this recommendation is a subject of some dispute and plaintiffs have asked this Court to infer that EDS's selection is indicative of defendants' discriminatory intent. This Court declines that invitation. That EDS had previously been involved as a consultant to the City in the 1980 redistricting that culminated in the Ketchum litigation and had also served as a consultant in the state redistricting that culminated in the Rybicki litigation, does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that EDS would prepare a discriminatory ward map. Nor is there anything on the record to suggest that EDS did anything discriminatory during the process or ever acted in a manner other than as a neutral redistricting consultant assisting the City with the application of sophisticated computer technology. Given the City's own history of redistricting litigation and the likelihood that the final ward map would wind up being the subject of litigation, it was reasonable to hire a firm that was experienced and was familiar with Chicago. The record unambiguously establishes that EDS is one of the most prominent and experienced firms presently providing redistricting consulting. While the firms competing with EDS were also extremely well-qualified and included the services of preeminent experts, there is no basis for concluding that EDS was somehow less qualified or independent than any of the competing consulting firms.
34. Nor can any discriminatory intent be inferred from comparing EDS's bid with competing bids, it is not this Court's role to determine whether EDS was, in fact, the most cost-effective bidder. In any event, Judge Ruble-Murphy's testimony indicates that EDS's more comprehensive bid was ultimately cost-competitive with the ostensibly lower, but less-inclusive, bid submitted by LogisSys. (Tr. 6887-88). Although the initial decision to hire EDS was made in March 1991, a formal contract was not entered into until May, 1991. In any event, the circumstances surrounding EDS retention are of only minimal relevance to plaintiffs' intent claims, since the testimony establishes that EDS provided chiefly technical support to the City during the redistricting process and played no other role in drawing the map eventually approved at referendum.
35. Defendants attempt to explain their initial preparation for redistricting by referring to the preparation for redistricting and the retention of consultants by various groups of minority alderman and citizen groups. That communities with significant interests at stake during redistricting began preparing for the redistricting process is indicative of nothing save the good sense to recognize that the final contours of the ward map would have significant consequences for the next decade and beyond.
3. Summer and Early Autumn of 1991
37. The redistricting process began in earnest in the summer of 1991. The events taking place during the summer of 1991 which the parties all contend were relevant include: 1) Alderman Burke's trip to visit EDS's offices in Washington in July; 2) the approval of guidelines governing the redistricting process by the City Council; 3) initial meetings between Aldermen Burke and Patrick Huels, of the 11th Ward, generally considered to be Mayor Daley's spokesman in the City Council, and the other aldermen; 4) meetings among the freshman alderman; 5) the formation of the "Latino Committee for Fair Redistricting (the "Latino Committee"); 6) the formation of the "Fair Map" coalition; 7) issues surrounding aldermanic access to the redistricting computers; 8) the initial maps prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy; and 9) the extent to which Judge Ruble-Murphy relied upon the initial public hearings. This Court will discuss, in turn, each of these topics, which the parties claim are relevant.
38. On July 25, 1991, Alderman Burke visited EDS's offices in Washington, D.C. Defendants assert that the purpose of this trip was for Alderman Burke to meet with Kimball Brace, the president of EDS, in order to familiarize himself with the computer equipment and software which EDS was to install in the City in order to assist with the redistricting process. In order to display the features of the redistricting computer, Brace focused on an area with which Alderman Burke was intimately familiar, namely Burke's own 14th ward. (Tr. 224,226-Burke). Nor is it surprising that when Alderman Burke and Brace looked at citywide population figures, they concentrated on Latino population concentrations since even at this early stage of the process, Alderman Burke was aware, given the growth of the Latino community and the declines in the African-American and white populations, that the Latino community was underrepresented and additional Latino-majority wards would have to be drawn. (Tr. 225). At the earliest stages of the process it was evident that additional Latino-majority wards would have to be drawn which, given the limited total pool of 50 wards and the racial calculus intrinsic to the redistricting process in a large city, meant that some other ethnic or racial groups would have to surrender control of several wards The testimony does not indicate that Burke's visit to the EDS offices was an attempt to mastermind the redistricting process. The maps drawn by Alderman Burke at EDS's office are simply an expression of Alderman Burke's general concerns as of late-July 1991.
39. Also in July, 1991, three Latino Alderman (Gutierrez, Garcia and Suarez) proposed an ordinance for "fair and open redistricting." (PJX 34). The ordinance, as originally introduced, set forth a procedure for conducting the redistricting and contained criteria for re-drawing the ward boundaries. The criteria listed in the proposed ordinance included: 1) population deviations of no more than 10%, 2) compliance with the Voting Rights Act; 3) drawing ward lines so as not to interfere with neighborhoods or communities of common interest except where the community was not significantly large enough to form a voting majority and the boundaries otherwise complied with the Voting Rights Act; 4) drawing the wards as compactly as possible except where it was necessary to draw wards to comply with the Voting Rights Act; 5) prohibiting the drawing of wards intended to separate or pack racial or ethnic groups; 6) drawing the wards in a manner minimizing the sum of the length of the boundaries of all the wards in the City (a rough synonym for compactness); and 7) drawing the wards so that they were contiguous. (PJX 34).
41. Judge Ruble-Murphy drafted an alternative redistricting ordinance which was eventually adopted by the City Council. The substitute ordinance provided for public access computer terminals and public hearings. At least one public hearing was to be held after the Rules Committee publicly released its final ward map. The revised redistricting ordinance also contained a more general statement of the appropriate map drawing criteria than the original proposed ordinance, providing that the final ward map "ensure fair and effective representation" of the persons protected by the Voting Rights Act and that "as nearly practicable, each ward shall be of equal population, compact, and contiguous." (PJX 40). The substitute ordinance also provided that should no map be approved by the City Council, thus necessitating that the proposed maps be submitted to a referendum, any ten aldermen could submit a map to referendum. The ordinance drafted by Judge Ruble-Murphy was enacted, with a vote of 43 yeas and 2 nays, by the City Council. (PJX 40).
42. The criteria set forth in the redistricting ordinance as finally approved, while not as specific as those contained in the original proposed ordinance, do not evidence any discriminatory intent nor do they facilitate the preparation of a ward map that would violate the Voting Rights Act. Rather, the requirements of the Voting Rights Act, along with a brief recapitulation of traditional districting criteria, are adequately encapsulated in the redistricting ordinance in a manner that also prudently permits the City flexibility in drawing the final ward map.
43. Eventually there were 15 public hearings held at locations throughout the City. There were, however, no public hearings held after the preparation of the maps submitted to referendum since there was no ward map ever approved by the entire Council.
44. Beginning in August, 1991, each alderman was given the opportunity to meet with the chairman and/or vice-chairmen of the Rules Committee to discuss his or her ward, their expectations for their ward, and the possibility that changes would be made in the ward boundaries. Alderman Huels, who according to testimony, is widely viewed as Mayor Daley's spokesman in the City Council, and Judge Ruble-Murphy also occasionally sat in on these meetings. One of the purposes of these meetings was to build consensus on the contours of a map, because ten dissenting alderman could force a public referendum. (Tr. 240-41, 6854-56 - Burke; Tr. 686-Huels). As several of the more junior aldermen testified, the meetings amounted to being told that they should expect significant changes in their wards and that since the outcome of how the wards would finally be drawn was beyond their control, they should simply go along. (Tr. 3432-Murphy; Tr. 5200-02 - Steele; Wojcik Dep. Des. 86-89; Bialczak Dep. Des. 83).
45. That some of the white junior aldermen such as Bialczak, Wojcik and Murphy were told at an early stage of the process that their wards would likely be drawn in a manner making their reelection impossible does not indicate that the contours of the final ward map had already been decided nor does it indicate that the leaders of the City Council harbored any discriminatory intent. Even at a very early stage of the remap process, it was reasonably clear that junior members of the City Council would be most likely to have their wards changed significantly in order to respond to the changes in Chicago's demographic patterns. Nor should it be surprising that at an early stage of the process the senior leaders of the City Council would begin exerting pressure on some of the more junior members of the Council to go along with the leadership plan.
47. At this stage of the process, when the City Council leadership met with African-American aldermen, Aldermen Burke and Judge Ruble-Murphy took the position that it would likely not be possible to draw additional African-American majority wards. During these initial meetings, Alderman Burke indicated, however, that the Council leadership intended to maintain the same number of African-American majority wards as then existed. (Tr. 6892). While some of Judge Ruble-Murphy's initial attempts at drawing wards with the redistricting computers included additional African-American majority wards, all of these maps contained significant population deviations and were only partial and incomplete maps.
48. Alderman Burke and the other members of the Council leadership also met with the Latino aldermen. In these meetings, the initial contours of the final plan which included seven Latino supermajority wards and an "influence" district on the southeast side began to take shape.
49. This Court heard extensive testimony concerning an August 13, 1991 meeting between Alderman Burke and then-Alderman, now State-Senator, Garcia and a memorandum prepared by Senator Garcia in connection with that meeting. (DX 112). Whether this memorandum was Sen. Garcia's agenda for the meeting or the summary of the substance of the meeting or a combination of both is of little relevance. Even if the negotiating position of a prominent member of the Latino community, at a very early stage of the process, was to seek only seven supermajority wards, that would not be of any particular relevance to this Court's VRA § 2 analysis if it finds that the present ward map limits the ability of the Latino community to participate in the political process and elect candidates of their choice. Whether an agenda or a report, the memorandum merely states what would reasonably be the most likely topic of conversation at such a meeting between Aldermen Burke and Garcia at this stage of the process: 1) the likely shape of the 22nd ward, Senator Garcia's ward, under the final ward map; 2) the number of additional Latino wards that would be drawn; 3) how the sizeable Latino community on the southeast side (the southeast side Latino community was not large enough to constitute an effective majority in a single ward, but as of 1991 it was splintered into several wards further diminishing its electoral influence) would be treated; 4) the proper method for passing redistricting legislation; and 5) the possible impact of the redistricting on the African-American community. Even at this nascent stage of the negotiations it was entirely clear that Latino aldermanic representation would increase. Given the finite number of aldermanic seats in the council, Latino representation could be increased only at the expense of white or African-American majority districts.
50. Even if this memorandum represents Alderman Burke's comments as recorded by Senator Garcia, this memorandum shows that the council leadership at this early date was aware of Latino community concerns and recognized that Latino representation would increase by three supermajority districts at the expense of white majority wards, that the sizeable Latino community on the southeast side of the City should be brought into a single ward, and that African-American representation would remain constant.
51. In response to the pressure he felt as a first-term Alderman, Alderman Murphy, of the 18th Ward, attempted to organize a coalition of the 10 freshman Alderman crossing racial lines to protect the common interests. After only several meetings, however, the group stopped meeting as coalitions began forming along racial and ethnic lines. (Tr. 3436).
52. Attempts at forming aldermanic coalitions continued throughout the early phases of the redistricting process. Eventually, the Aldermen coalesced into three chief coalitions formed more or less along racial and ethnic lines.
54. For the purposes of the ward redistricting, the Latino Committee and the four Latino alderman agreed to work together to negotiate the number of wards in which Latino voters would be able to elect their candidates of choice. The Latino negotiating strategy was to push for a number of Latino-majority wards which could realistically be achieved through negotiations and would be secure as Latino seats. The Latino Committee also sought the unification of the southeast side Latino community into a single ward.
55. The Latino aldermen agreed to relinquish their individual views in order to represent and advocate the agreed upon positions of the Latino Committee. (Tr. 1223-Gutierrez; Tr. 1622-Garcia). This Court was impressed by the sincerity and truthfulness of the former aldermen, Congressman Gutierrez and State Senator Garcia, who testified at trial. Although three of the four Latino aldermen were generally considered to be members of the leadership of the City Council, Senator Garcia was not generally considered to be allied with the leadership, the testimony suggests that they, particularly Congressman Gutierrez, worked very hard to put aside their allegiances to their Council allies in order to represent the independent interests of the Latino community. This Court can find no occasion where the allegiance of the Latino aldermen to their majority political allies caused them to disregard the interests of the Latino community. Even though Congressman Gutierrez was then actively seeking higher political office, his ambitions and his search for support in the political establishment did not cause him to contradict the agenda of the Latino Committee.
56. While the testimony is undisputed that the Latino Committee was extremely energetic and vocal in its representation of the Latino community, and pooled the resources of the various community organizations, the Latino Committee, nonetheless lacked the resources available to the Council leadership. In fact, the Latino Committee was able to make free use of the mapping capabilities of EDS's computers when preparing their proposals for Latino majority wards.
57. Although defendants attempt to make an issue of the manner in which Latino organizations coalesced around the redistricting drive, this is largely irrelevant to this case. Plaintiffs should not be penalized for their efforts to have a role in the redistricting process. The relevant issue is whether the present ward map limits Latino opportunities to participate in the political process. That the Latino Committee actively pursued the interests of the community is not at issue except to the extent that it is somewhat indicative of the ability of Latino voters to participate in the political process. Of relevance to this Court's consideration of the totality of the circumstances, however, are the practical considerations taken into account during the negotiating process such as the balancing of the desire to maximize Latino wards against the desire to craft wards which would be secure enough to cement Latino political victories.
59. This Court rejects defendants' suggestion that it draw a negative inference based upon plaintiffs' decision not to call additional witnesses who were members of the Latino Committee. Additional testimony would simply have been redundant with that presented before this Court. This Court is satisfied that the members of the Latino Committee who were called to testify, including Congressman Gutierrez and Senator Garcia, were entirely forthright.
60. As was the case of the formation of the Latino Committee, that most of the African-American aldermen, along with several independent white aldermen, formed a coalition advocating their own interests for the redrawing of Chicago's ward map, is only tangentially relevant to the defense of this case. That the African-American community began its initial preparations for the ward remap process in March or April of 1991 simply indicates that the community was, given the history of past ward remaps, concerned about its role in the process and was eager to defend its rights. That all the plaintiff aldermen were diligent in protecting the rights of their communities under the Voting Rights Act and the equal protection clause in no way excuses any violation of the Voting Rights act or any intentional discrimination which might have been committed by defendants.
61. One of the keystones to defendants' contention that the 1991 redistricting process was the most open one in the history of Chicago is the computer system installed by EDS which was accessible to the public and the City's aldermen.
62. As part of the City's redistricting guidelines two redistricting computers were made available at City Hall. The computers were provided by EDS. One of the computers was placed in the "map room," Room 3M at City Hall in August, 1991. This computer was intended for the use of aldermen and their staffs. The second computer, which was placed in an easily accessible hallway in the second floor of City Hall was intended to be available to the public (and, of course, the press) and was installed in late September, 1991. The two computers contained identical data and software. EDS provided a full-time technical adviser, Joseph Pindell, who according to testimony, was nearly always available to provide assistance no matter what the hour and, according to all accounts, was extremely courteous and helpful. The computer's database included the City's total and voting-age population data as taken from the census data as well as election results. The database also contained electronic versions of the geography of the City, complete with street names, that permitted users to assign a census block or a group of blocks to a ward. The computer could then immediately calculate demographic statistics based on the assignment of geography. This information could be displayed on the computer's display screen as a user was assigning geography.
64. Aldermen were permitted unlimited access, depending on availability, to the aldermanic computer. Initially, aldermen were asked to make appointments to use the computer but that process eventually broke down and aldermen began using the computers without appointments. As time went on, use of the computer became subject to availability. (Tr. 7315-16 - Pindell). Not surprisingly, there were some aldermanic complaints about access to the computers and some aldermen testified that they were unable to use the computers when they wanted. (9/20/95 Tillman Dep. Des. 80). This Court, however, credits the testimony of Mr. Pindell and Judge Ruble-Murphy that accessibility to the computer was based entirely upon availability and was not the result of an effort to deny access to the computers to minority aldermen.
65. Nor were limits placed on the aldermanic use of the computers. (Tr. 6899 - Ruble-Murphy; Tr. 7316-Pindell). Aldermen were given free access to the computers and could attempt to draw maps for any part of the City they wished. Aldermen were not, however, allowed to view draft ward maps prepared by any of their compatriots, nor were they given free access to the draft ward maps prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy. Draft maps stored on the computer were treated as the work-product of the persons who prepared them.
66. Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to listen to and incorporate the comments of the aldermen, but discussion and negotiations could not continue indefinitely. In the end, it was necessary to bring the process to a close and Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to draw a ward map incorporating as much of the aldermanic input as possible. As with any project in which multiple participants are involved, many aldermen were unhappy with the contours of their wards under the various draft maps and felt that their desires had been ignored.
67. There is, however, no basis on the record for plaintiffs' contention that defendants permitted access to the redistricting computers in order to analyze the proposals prepared by plaintiffs which were stored on the redistricting computer.
68. Plaintiffs attempt to make an issue of Judge Ruble-Murphy's unlimited access to the redistricting computer and the many maps prepared by her during the early phases of redistricting. (SX 24-27,30,31,53). In August 1991, Judge Ruble-Murphy prepared numerous draft maps, which is neither surprising nor troubling, since she was the person charged with coordinating the redistricting efforts and attempting to synthesize the proposals offered by the aldermen and the public into a ward map for the entire City.
69. Many of Judge Ruble-Murphy's earliest maps focused on areas with heavy concentrations of Latino population, namely the near northwest, the southwest, and the southeast sides of the City. During this early period in August, 1991, Kimball Brace also prepared studies and maps identifying Latino population concentrations in the City. It was natural that Judge Ruble-Murphy was, at an early stage, concentrating on these areas since from the outset, it was clear that the new ward map would need to account for the significant growth in the Latino population in the City. The most extensive changes in the pre-existing ward map would need to take place in areas with significant Latino population growth and would of necessity result in moving or combining the wards represented by incumbent aldermen. Even at the earliest stages of the redistricting process, it was clear that additional Latino-majority wards would have to be drawn, so it is not surprising that as she was becoming proficient on the computers Judge Ruble-Murphy would concentrate on the areas that were likely to pose particularly thorny problems during the remap process.
71. As part of the effort to make the 1991 redistricting process the most open one in Chicago's history, the City held several rounds of public hearings. The first round of public hearings was held in October 28, 1991, shortly before the leadership released its first draft map for review by the City Council. The second round of hearings was held shortly after the Rules committee met on October 28, 1991 in order to give the public an opportunity to comment on the proposed maps.
72. The public hearings were held at a variety of locations throughout the City including: at Roberto Clemente High School on the near northwest side on September 11, 1991; at Julian High School on the south side on September 11, 1991; at Pressman's Hall on the southwest side on September 11, 1991; at Garfield Park on the west side on September 24, 1991; at IIT on the south side on September 26, 1991; at Kennedy-King College on the south side on September 30, 1991; at John Spry Elementary School on the near southwest side October 1, 1991; at the United Steel Workers Union Hall on the south side on October 2, 1991; at the Greater Canaan Missionary Baptist Church on the south side on October 3, 1991; at Ebinger School on the northwest side on October 7, 1991; at the Scottsdale Park Fieldhouse on the southwest side on October 8, 1991; at North Central Park on the west side on November 12, 1991; at the North Park Village on the north side on November 12, 1991; at Kennedy-King College on the south side on November 13, 1991; at 2150 South Laflin on the southwest side on November 14, 1991. The public hearings were generally attended by the aldermen from the relevant communities and either Alderman Mell, the chairman of the Rules Committee or one of the committee's co-chairs. The public hearings were also recorded by a court reporter and were available to the public. (SX 5-19).
73. The public hearings were also attended by members of the finance committee staff. Because of the birth of her child, Judge Ruble-Murphy was unable to attend all the hearings, but a staff member attended in her place and Ruble-Murphy reviewed the hearing transcripts.
74. As with any open public hearing, in which any interested member of the community was given an opportunity to state his or her mind, the speakers at the public hearings expressed a wide diversity of opinions. It is not possible in many instances to identify the speakers or the particular expertise or perspectives they may have brought to the hearings. The first round of hearings was particularly unfocused and resulted in diverse testimony since at the time of the hearings, no proposed maps had yet been released to the public. In general, there were two chief opinions stated at the hearings: minority witnesses expressed their desire to see more minority wards, and witnesses frequently stated their desire to retain their current aldermen.
75. Given the importance of the redistricting process, some of the aldermen bussed in constituents who stated that they did not want their ward boundaries redrawn. (Tr. 6055-Tuite). Alderman Murphy, in particular, took advantage of the public hearings at Scottsdale Park to mobilize community support. Conduct of this nature is instructive since it an indication of a competently and efficiently run ward organization which is able to mobilize community support and is led by a responsive and energetic alderman. Alderman Murphy of the 18th ward should not be condemned because he was successfully able to galvanize his constituents behind him.
77. This Court is satisfied that Judge Ruble-Murphy reviewed the transcripts of the public hearings and attempted to take the portions she felt were relevant into heed as she prepared war maps. This Court, however, gives little substantive weight to the public hearings as an indicator that the City either did or did not heed community concerns with respect to the redistricting. The public hearings are relevant to this Court's consideration only insofar as they are indicative of the fact that the 1991 redistricting process was relatively more open and allowed more community expressions of interest than any past redistricting in the history of the City.
78. It would be impossible for the redistricting process to transcend the realm of politically bargained and brokered deals negotiated by the relevant legislative bodies, but at the very least there was an effort during this process to elicit public opinion.
4. October 1991--the Preparation of Draft Maps and the Rules Committee Meeting of October 28th, 1991
79. According to the redistricting ordinance, a proposed map was to be submitted to and voted on by the Rules Committee by October 28, 1991. (PJX 40). While there was extensive testimony concerning the maps that were prepared in anticipation of the October 28th, 1991 Rules Committee meetings, the fact of the matter is that the maps that were submitted to the Rules Committee in October 1991 were only proposed maps which were neither approved by the City Council nor submitted to referendum. The process leading to this first round of proposed citywide draft maps is relevant only to the extent that it might be indicative of some discriminatory intent or is indicative of the totality of the circumstances surrounding minority participation in the process by which the final ward map was finally produced.
80. Beginning in September and continuing through October, Judge Ruble-Murphy, assisted and advised by Kimball Brace, began working on a citywide map. During September and October, 1991 Brace was very active in providing guidance to Judge Ruble-Murphy, billing approximately 140 hours to the Chicago remap process including "drawing plan ideas." (PJX 17,19). Throughout September and October, Judge Ruble Murphy met with every alderman at least once and with most twice. In these meetings, Judge Ruble-Murphy discussed the contours of their wards with the individual aldermen.
81. Judge Ruble-Murphy's staff also sent questionnaires to each alderman's staff asking them to identify the core areas of the ward, the areas of the community that the alderman most wanted to retain, the neighborhoods contained in the ward, and the important community institutions contained within the ward. Judge Ruble-Murphy attempted to utilize the information contained in these questionnaires as she was preparing the draft ward maps.
82. Some of the aldermen expressed frustration with Judge Ruble-Murphy in these meetings because the meetings generally concerned only the boundaries of the alderman's individual wards. (Tr. 5153-Preckwinkle, Tr. 5204-Steele). Based upon the testimony presented at trial, however, this Court is convinced that Judge Ruble-Murphy was entirely professional and courteous in her conduct towards the aldermen throughout the redistricting process. As was clear from her testimony, and that of others, Judge Ruble-Murphy made every effort to be accommodating to every alderman during the process and made an effort to comply with every reasonable request. (Tr. 5167-Preckwinkle; Tr. 5284-85-Steele; Tr. 1914-Gutierrez).
84. In October, 1991, after returning from a very brief maternity leave, Judge Ruble-Murphy began meeting with groups of aldermen in order to discuss the boundaries of adjoining wards in an effort to discuss and resolve any disputes concerning boundary areas between wards.
85. During October, 1991 Judge Ruble-Murphy met with the Latino aldermen and members of the Latino Committee as well as, in some instances, Aldermen Burke and Mell. At the meetings with representatives of the Latino Committee in October, 1991, the participants discussed drawing seven Latino supermajority wards and a ward with a substantial Latino minority in the southeast side of the City. During this phase of the redistricting process the representatives of the Latino community advocated drawing wards with as sizeable a majority as possible. Although they had beer active in discussions with Judge Ruble-Murphy, the Latino aldermen did not see the final shape of the wards proposed in the map on October 28, 1991 until the map was finally released. (Tr. 1221-Gutierrez; Tr. 1668-Garcia).
86. Plaintiffs place much importance on the existence of some incomplete draft maps which included additional African-American wards. (SX 46,58). These maps, however, all had unassigned populations, wards with unacceptably large population deviations, and wards that were extremely elongated, or irregularly shaped.
87. Similarly, this Court credits Judge Ruble-Murphy's testimony that during September and October she did not believe that additional African-American wards could be drawn in a manner consistent with the legal requirements. (Tr. 6893-94). The draft maps prepared by Judge Ruble-Murphy and Brace do not disprove Judge Ruble-Murphy's stated opinion given the incompleteness and other flaws of those maps. Nor does Alderman Ed Smith's statement to Judge Ruble-Murphy that he had seen drafts with additional African-American wards prepared by the African-American aldermen's counsel (Tr. 6894) indicate that Judge Ruble-Murphy had any discriminatory intent or knew that additional minority wards could be drawn but chose not to do so. It is hardly surprising that, at an early stage of the process, different participants in the process held widely divergent opinions as to the acceptability of various proposed maps. The redistricting process is, of course, a highly politicized one in which there is much give and take and therefore it is not surprising that as of October, 1991 there were wide differences of opinion between the relevant players concerning the most equitable manner of providing for Chicago's demographic shifts between 1980 and 1990.
88. Based upon the factual record, it is clear that the only way in which it was possible, due to the population patterns in the City of Chicago, to draw additional African-American majority wards was consistently to underpopulate African-American wards and to overpopulate white majority wards. Judge Ruble-Murphy's reluctance to deviate from equal population is not necessarily indicative of discriminatory intent given the equal population mandates of the Illinois statute and the Chicago remap ordinance. ...